Discover the rich history of Texas, once a separate country with a single star symbolizing its independence, and explore its vast landscapes, thriving economy, diverse culture, and abundance of attractions, while considering both the enticing advantages and potential challenges of living in the Lone Star State.Discover the rich history of Texas, once a separate country with a single star symbolizing its independence, and explore its vast landscapes, thriving economy, diverse culture, and abundance of attractions, while considering both the enticing advantages and potential challenges of living in the Lone Star State.Home

25 Pros and Cons of Living in Texas

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Did you know that besides once being part of Mexico, Texas was also a separate country from the rest of the United States? That is why it was called the “Lone Star” state. The single star on the state flag symbolized its independence.

Texas has a fascinating history. Seven nations had a claim on parts of Texas. The first nation was the Indigenous people who lived in the area for more than 10,000 years. Then, the Spanish conquistadores came in 1519, and in 1681, Spain built the first Spanish settlement near modern-day El Paso. The French arrived in 1685 and established Fort St. Louis. Both Spain and France tried to establish settlements in various parts of Texas but found that supporting them was too costly.

In 1821, Mexico gained independence from the rule of Spain and the area we now know as Texas was part of the new country of Mexico. “Mexican Texas” existed from 1821 to 1836. In 1836, the Republic of Texas was formed as a separate country. Sam Houston was the first president of the Republic of Texas.

Texas enjoyed its independence as a country, which lasted until 1845 when Texas became one of the states in the United States of America. Texas is the only state to join the USA by treaty, not annexation.

During the American Civil War, Texas joined the Confederacy in rebellion against the United States. During the reconstruction after the Civil War, Texas went back to being part of the USA. Even after becoming part of the USA, the state flag of Texas continued to have a white “Lone Star.”

In modern times, Texas is the second largest state in terms of population after California. California has around 39 million, and Texas has about 31.5 million. Texas is the fastest-growing state in the nation, so if you are planning on moving to Texas, you are not alone.

This guide of 25 pros and 25 cons of living in Texas will give you a head start by learning what you may enjoy about the state and being forewarned about things that are not so nice.


Here are 25 pros about living in Texas.

1. Big, Wide-Open Spaces, and Satisfies a Need for Speed

Everything is bigger in Texas. There is a 70-foot-tall statue of San Houston in Huntsville, Texas, called “Big Sam.” It is the tallest statue of a person in the United States. The Texas State Capitol sits on 51.4 acres (the largest capitol site in America) and is nearly 15 feet taller than the U.S. Capitol. Texas is the second-largest state by area after Alaska.

Texas is huge. On the flat plains, there is a clear view on a nice day for miles. Driving 100 miles or more between cities is considered a short drive.

On Texas Highway 130, which runs between Austin and San Antonio, the legal speed limit is 85 MPH. This is the highest speed limit on any road in America. That means you can potentially cover the 80 miles between the two cities in less than an hour, depending on traffic congestion.

2. Greasy Yummy

The Texas State Fair is the largest in the country. It has over 3.5 million visitors. The fair offers some crazy fried foods, including deep-fried bubble-gum-flavored marshmallows, fried frozen butterballs, and peanut butter-banana cheeseburgers (Elvis Presley’s favorite).

3. Dr. Pepper

You may need a big swig of Dr. Pepper to wash down those fried butterballs. Dr. Pepper was invented by Charles Alderton in 1885. Texas has the oldest soft drink manufacturing plant in America. Coca-Cola came to Texas a year later, in 1886.

4. Sports

After California, Texas has the highest number of professional sports teams. It is home to the Dallas Cowboys (NFL), Houston Texans (NFL), Dallas Mavericks (NBA), Houston Rockets (NBA), Texas Rangers (MLB), Houston Astros (MLB), and the Texas Stars (AHL).

5. The Astrodome

The Astrodome is the world’s first domed sports stadium. Built in Houston, it opened in 1965 to host sports, major concerts, and events.

6. Mostly Friendly

The locals are mostly friendly and easy to talk to, unless you act like a fool and as the locals say, “Tall hat, no cattle.” The name Texas is derived from the word “taysha” in the native Caddo language and “tejas” in Spanish. It means “friends.”

7. Pride

An advertising agency invented the phrase “Don’t Mess with Texas” as part of a campaign to clean up the litter on the highways. This slogan is now a popular way to express Texas pride.

8. Six Flags Amusement Park

The Six Flags Fiesta Texas amusement park is in San Antonio, Texas. There are 20 other Six Flags amusement parks across the nation. They are called Six Flags, for the flags that once flew over Texas, which are, in historical order, the Spanish, the French, the Mexican, the Republic of Texas, the Confederacy, and the United States.

9. Cowboys, Cattle, and Farms

Texas has more cowboys, cattle ranchers, cattle, and farms than any other state in America. And in case you are wondering, Texas has many more occupations besides cowboys, cattle ranchers, and farmers.

10. Oil

Texas made many millionaires by their discovery of oil. They call oil “black gold.” There are close to 300,000 oil wells in Texas. You can see the pumps they call “Texas oil chickens” bobbing up and down to extract oil all over the state.

11. No State Income Tax

Texans do not have to file or pay any state income tax. Other types of tax, such as property tax and sales tax, are used to fund the state government.

12. Plentiful Sunshine

Texans enjoy year-round sunshine, even in winter. Severe rain and hurricane weather are avoidable if you stay away from the cities on the coast near the Gulf of Mexico.

13. Low Cost of Living

The cost of living in Texas is lower than in many other states, and housing costs are reasonable, yet rising.

14. Outdoor Recreation

If you like doing things outside and being in nature, there are wonderful places for hiking, camping, hunting, fishing, and exploring.

15. Delicious Food and Drinks

Texas is world famous for its barbeque and Tex-Mex-style cooking. The portion sizes on the plates in most restaurants are enormous because Texans love to eat. The most popular foods are a Texas brisket sandwich, Texas sheet cake, fajitas, chili, kolaches, barbecue ribs, tamales, chicken fried steak, quesadillas, and pecan pie. The most popular drinks are the Texas Fever Water Cocktail, Texas Tea, Texas Mule Cocktail, Margarita, Spicy Mezcal Ranch Water, Paloma, and Michelada (beer with spices).

16. Robust Economy

Businesses can thrive in Texas. The biggest industries are oil & gas, manufacturing, healthcare, tech, and tourism. There are plenty of opportunities for entrepreneurs. The technical sector in Plano and Austin rivals the Silicon Valley area of Northern California. Frisco, Arlington, Garland, Houston, Fort Worth, Dallas, Irving, Corpus Christi, Lubbock, and Laredo are other cities known for their technology companies.

17. Jobs and Income

The unemployment rate is very low at 4% (March 2024) and trending down from an average of 6% in the past. There are jobs at all levels, from blue-collar to white-collar. The median household income in Texas is $74,640 (2022), and the cost of living is about 5% lower than the national average.

18. Universities

Texas is home to many excellent universities, including Rice University, the University of Texas at Austin, Southern Methodist University, Texas A&M University, Baylor University, Texas Christian University, the University of Texas at Dallas, the University of Houston, Texas Tech University, and Southern Methodist University.

19. Dinosaur Bones

Near the Bosque River is a site where the fossilized bones of 24 Columbian mammoths, which are around 65,000 years old, were discovered. The Waco Mountain Site is open to the public and a fascinating place to visit.

20. Big Bend National Park

This national park is located at the bend in the Rio Grande Rio. It has more than 450 species of birds to delight birdwatchers who come for a visit. This number is more species than is found in any other national park. About 400,000 visitors enjoy the park each year, with hiking trails, campsites, and lovely natural habitats to explore.

21. Music Festivals

There are more than 40 popular music festivals held each year in Texas. Some of the best ones are Austin City Limits Music Festival, South by Southwest, Levitation Music Festival, Utopiafest, Maverick Music Festival, Canadian River Music Festival, Kerrville Folk Festival Foundation, Cactus Pear Music Festival, Fortress Festival, and the Old Settler’s Music Festival.

22. Beaches

Enjoy the sun, sand, and swimming on the beaches that you can find on the Gulf of Mexico. The best beaches are South Padre Island, Mustang Island, Padre Island National Seashore, Surfside Beach, Port Aransas, Matagorda Bay Nature Park, Corpus Christi, San José Island, Boca Chica, and Rockport Beach.

23. Historical Sites

There are many historical sites worth visiting, such as the Alamo, Texas Capitol, San Jacinto Monument, Battleship Texas, Goliad State Park & Historic Site, Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site, Presidio La Bahía, Fort Davis National Historic Site, Mission San José, and Casa Navarro State Historic Site.

24. Places to Visit and Things To Do

There are many destination locations that are fun to visit, such as NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Paradise Canyon, and the San Antonio Riverwalk ( you can sing Christmas carols from the canal boats during December). For loads of fun, you want to see the ocean life at the Dallas World Aquarium, enjoy the view from the Reunion Tower Geo-Deck (a great place to propose marriage), wear your new cowboy hat at the Houston Livestock Show/Rodeo, and attend the Texas Renaissance Festival dressed in costume.

25. Super Cool Official State Stuff

Here are some of the official state things that can help you win a bet in a bar and give you a sense of what is important to Texans:

  • Amphibian: Texas Toad
  • Bird: Mockingbird
  • Cobbler: Peach Cobbler
  • Cooking Pot: Cast Iron Dutch Oven
  • Crustacean: Texas Gulf Shrimp
  • Dinosaur: Paluxysaurus Jonesi
  • Dish: Chili
  • Dog: Blue Lacy
  • Epic Poem: Legend of Old Stone Ranch
  • Fiber and Fabric: Cotton
  • Fish: Guadalupe Bass
  • Flower: Bluebonnet
  • Flying Mammal: Mexican Free-Tailed Bat
  • Folk Dance: Square Dance
  • Footwear: Cowboy Boot
  • Fruit: Texas Red Grapefruit
  • Gemstone Cut: Lone Star Cut
  • Grass: Sideoats Grama
  • Hat: Cowboy Hat
  • Horse: American Quarter Horse
  • Insect: Monarch Butterfly
  • Mammal (large): Longhorn
  • Mammal (small): Armadillo
  • Music: Western Swing
  • Native Pepper: Chiltepin
  • Native Shrub: Texas Purple Sage
  • Nut: Pecan
  • Pie: Pecan Pie
  • Plant: Prickly Pear Cactus
  • Pollinator: Western Honeybee
  • Precious Metal: Silver
  • Reptile: Texas Horned Lizard
  • Rodeo Drill Team: Ghostriders
  • Sea Turtle: Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle
  • Shell: Lightning Whelk
  • Ship: USS Texas
  • Shrub: Crape Myrtle
  • Soil: Houston Black
  • Song: "Texas, Our Texas"
  • Stone: Petrified Palm Wood
  • Tall Ship: Elissa
  • Tree: Pecan
  • Vegetable: Sweet Onion
  • Vehicle: Chuck Wagon


Hold on now, pardner! Don’t be such a greenhorn (inexperienced cowboy or cowgirl). Now that you are all excited about going to Texas, there are “some things ya needs to know, good buddy” that are not so desirable. A 2021 study by CNBC found that Texas was the second worst state in America to live in after Arizona. Here are some of the reasons why Texas is not so good.

1. Wildfires

Climate change is taking its toll on Texas, with record heat causing the risk of wildfires to increase. The Smokehouse Creek Fire started in late February 2024 and, within days, became the largest wildfire on record in Texas, burning over 1.1 million acres during the first week. It is well on its way to being the largest wildfire in U.S. history if it beats the Fire of 1910 in Idaho/Montana that burned over 3 million acres.

2. Tornadoes and Hurricanes

Right up there with having your house burned down is having it ripped up by a tornado. Texas has more tornadoes than any other state and averages 120 per year. A tornado can destroy homes and buildings with winds up to 300 MPH. If you live in a tornado zone, such as the “Tornado Alley” in northern Texas, you must have access to a nearby underground shelter for this risk and be prepared to lose everything if a tornado hits.

Hurricanes may have high winds that cause problems, but the greater risk of damage to your home caused by a hurricane comes from flooding and storm surges. If you live on the Gulf Coast of Texas, plan to deal with hurricanes every year during the hurricane season. Be sure you carry adequate insurance to cover the risks or be comfortable risking the loss of everything you own due to water damage.

3. Power Grid Failures

Texas operates its own power grid, which is notoriously unreliable. Texas deregulated the prices for utilities, allowing electrical prices to soar to outrageous amounts during emergencies. Failures and blackouts are common. Storms cause the power to go out. Cold temperatures cause renewable energy resources like wind farms to stop functioning properly.

4. Racism

While Texans are genuinely friendly, they may not like you moving there. Racism can be a problem for black and brown people. The national focus on the “invasion” of illegal immigrants creates racism that can arise for unjustified reasons. For example, Texas natives who are of Hispanic descent may experience bigotry, even when they are U.S. citizens with a family heritage that pre-dates the time when Texas joined the United States.

5. Gun Violence and Crime

Texans love their guns, and many carry them. Since a law passed in September 2021, if you have the constitutional right to carry a firearm in Texas, you no longer must have a license to carry one in public places. You must be at least 21, have no prior felony convictions, and not be under a protective order. There are a few other requirements for certain people.

To be safe, you should assume everyone has a gun. Gun violence is a problem in the state, with an average of over 3,500 people killed annually by gunshot wounds. There have been many high-profile mass shootings, such as the ones in Midland and Odessa. About half of the Texans want stricter gun control laws, and the other half do not want any laws impacting their gun rights. There are not many restrictions.

Crime has been going down since the 1990s, which is good. Nevertheless, there are very dangerous cities in Texas, which include Friendswood (in Galveston County), Nassau Bay, Webster, Atascocita, Humble, Helotes, Lackland AFB, Leon Valley, and Kermit. In these cities, the crime rate is, on average, more than double the national average.

6. Travel Distance and Bad Road Conditions

Texas is huge, and there are a lot of empty plains between the major cities. Expect to experience long drives to go anywhere, even to run some errands.

To get around, you must have a vehicle that is in good working condition, which can handle the roads and the extreme weather. You may have to deal with hurricanes, snow, ice, sleet, hail (the size of golf balls), thunderstorms, lighting, high winds, dust storms, flooding, washouts, and other hazardous road conditions. Public transportation in Texas is completely lacking except for the big cities of Austin, Dallas, and Houston.

7. Extreme Weather

Summers in Texas are incredibly hot and humid. Winters can be freezing cold. Your air-conditioning and heating bills can break the bank since the price may go up dramatically based on high demand. Don’t try to move furniture in the outside heat unless you are willing to collapse from heat stroke. During spring, thunderstorms can come out of nowhere. The skies may turn dark suddenly during the day, a sign that a tornado may be coming.

The winds of a hurricane can blow the roof off your house, knock down power lines, and uproot trees. If you live near the beach, storm surges during winter storms are a major problem.

8. Poor Public Healthcare Services

Texas has some of the country's most advanced medical research hospitals, such as the UT Southwestern Medical Center, the Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center, and the Houston Methodist Hospital. Even so, the public healthcare system in Texas ranks near the lowest of all states (42 out of 50 in 2020).

Funding for public healthcare is abysmal. The percentage of Texan residents without medical insurance is 18.4%, which is the highest in the nation.

9. Property Taxes

Because Texas has no state income tax, it has very high property taxes instead. The rate per year is between 1.75% and 2.3% of the assessed value, depending on the county where your home is located. For the average home, this annual tax is many thousands of dollars.

10. Insects and Pests

The types of bugs you encounter in Texas are horrendous. Giant cockroaches that the locals call the “Texas State Bird” are everywhere, and it is nearly impossible to get rid of them. Along with the cockroaches are massive beetles that crunch under your feet when you get up at night to have a drink of water in the kitchen or go to the bathroom.

Huge mosquitoes will fly by your ear at night, making a sound like a helicopter passing over. Not to mention, there are scorpions, fire ants, wasps, and gigantic spiders, including hand-sized tarantulas. Receiving a bite or a sting from these is painful and can make you ill.

11. Poisonous Snakes

If you hear the classic rattle of a rattlesnake, freeze! Any movement may attract a bite that can kill you if you don’t get a shot of anti-venom in time. There are many rattlesnake species in Texas, including the Mojave variety, the Timber rattlesnake, and the Western Diamondback. Moreover, the tiny, more innocent-looking coral snake with yellow, white, red, and black stripes is very poisonous. It likes to crawl inside shoes and will bite your toes or feet when you put your shoes on.

12. Allergic Reactions

Dallas, Texas, is the second worst city in America for allergy sufferers due to its high pollen count. In general, many people may experience allergies for the first time when they move to Texas. Besides pollen, there is also plenty of dust, mold, and, if you have pets, animal dander to contend with in Texas. You may need to take allergy medicine during springtime to manage your symptoms.

13. Traffic

It is a weird experience to drive across Texas and go for hundreds of miles between cities with a sparse population spread across the state in rural areas. Then, when you reach a major city, suddenly you are in gigantic amounts of congested traffic. The highways in Houston or Dallas can get just as crowded as the traffic congestion in Los Angeles.

There are some highway designs in Texas that make driving confusing, such as large circular highways that surround a city and change compass direction as you drive around. For example, you may start out on the freeway going south and then, after curving around in a big circle, end up driving north on the same freeway.

14. Border Towns

Border towns like El Paso/Juarez are increasingly dangerous due to immigrant issues and drug trafficking. It is a bit of a shame because El Paso is a lovely town otherwise.

15. Lousy Public Schools

The education system in Texas is not adequately funded. In other states, which have a state income tax, the property taxes are used for the schools. However, since there is no state income tax in Texas, the property taxes are used for all kinds of other things besides just the schools. The result is that the schools deteriorate. Teachers and students suffer from a lack of adequate resources.

16. Urban Sprawl

Plan to spend lots of time in your car driving around, either passing the vast distances in the rural parts of the state or trying to get from one place to another in the metropolitan areas. Due to Texas's extensive oil & gas refineries, gasoline prices are somewhat lower than in the rest of the country. Nevertheless, you must allocate a big portion of your monthly budget to cover your transportation expenses to get around town and drive across the state.

17. No Change of Seasons and Drought

Texas does not have many trees or forests, so there is no change of season in the fall when the tree leaves change color, as you might find elsewhere. There are two potential seasonal conditions, which are dry/hot and wet/cold. The effects of climate change are making the weather more unpredictable. There is a water shortage and drought when it comes to the irrigation of agricultural land. These dry, hot conditions cause increased wildfire risk.

18. Restricted Beach Access

Even though there is plenty of coastline, Texas has restrictions on who can use the beaches. It is common for homeowners to claim the exclusive use of the beach where their house is built. Access to public beaches is limited to certain areas. To use the beach, you may have to stay at a hotel on the coastline to gain access.

19. Polarized Politics

Like many other parts of America, the political scene in Texas is highly polarized. It is a good idea to avoid any discussion of politics because if things get heated, remember, most Texans carry a gun.

20. Stereotypes

Because of the historical culture of Texas, there are strong stereotypes about Texans, which may or may not be true in individual cases. The typical shallow idea about Texas is that everyone is a cowboy and acts like a character from the Wild West. While some may act like this, there are also many areas in Texas where people are more sophisticated and progressive, such as parts of Austin.

However, in rural communities, it is common for people to be more conservative. If you plan to move to a small town in Texas, be aware that it may be challenging for you to fit in, and you may be judged by your appearance.

21. High Sales Taxes

Texas has one of the highest sales tax rates in the country at 6.25% for the state. Municipal economies can add up to a maximum of 2% for a local sales tax. That means in some Texan cities, you might pay a total of 8.25% in sales taxes.

22. Restrictions on Voting Rights

Texan Senate Bill 1 (S.B. 1), which became law in 2021, is considered a voter suppression law that disproportionately impacts people of color and those with disabilities. There are difficult rules for those who wish to vote by mail, restrictions on “get out the vote” efforts, and restrictions on helping those with a language barrier or a disability with the voting process.

There are numerous lawsuits against the state of Texas for these prohibitions and for redistricting that allege the process is discriminatory and racist. The Texan S.B. 1 law is currently being challenged in federal court.

23. Immigrant Crisis

The ongoing dispute between the federal government and the Texas government about border security continues as a flood of illegal immigrants enter the United States through the state of Texas.

24. Lack of Inclusiveness and Hate Crimes

Texas is criticized by many for not having a culture of inclusiveness. There is a strong negative vibe for certain social groups and communities. There were 9,530 hate crimes reported in Texas from 1991 to 2022, with an annual average of around 600. The number of hate crimes in Texas has been increasing each year since 2018. The most targeted groups for hate crimes are Black people, LGBTQ people, and Jewish people. Texas ranks fifth in the nation for the highest number of hate crimes.

25. Bankruptcies

Texas leads the nation in business bankruptcies and is second after California in personal bankruptcies. Texas law allows different exemptions than the federal law and may be more beneficial when it comes to saving a home or a car in a personal bankruptcy. The filer of a bankruptcy in Texas can choose whether the bankruptcy court applies the state or federal law.

Final Thoughts

What do you think? Do the pros outweigh the cons for your circumstances? If you are unsure, perhaps you can take an exploratory trip before moving permanently to Texas. In some cases, these are general statements about Texas, which may or may not be true for you, and you may not find them to be accurate in your experiences. Those who are native Texans often express their love for living there and would not want to live anywhere else. Texas continues to grow in population because many people move there for all of its good things and fantastic opportunities.

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